Mindanao to get P400M in rural projects

The MRDP-Adaptable Program Loan 2 (MRDP-APL 2) is said to boost Mindanao’s farming and fishing sectors through infrastructure projects that would help farmers and fishermen bring their produce to the market.

The MRDP covers Mindanao’s 27 provinces and at least 225 municipalities, or about half of the local government units in the island.

MRDP deputy director Arnel de Mesa said the project was extended because the World Bank and other funding institutions were satisfied with the first phase.

“We have projects lined-up for implementation by July. Bidding for farm-to-market roads is underway. For the first year, we expect to utilize P400 million for the projects,” he said.

The $84-million loan package was approved by the World Bank last March. But De Mesa said the fund would soar to $123.9 million with equity coming from the local government units and the Department of Agriculture.

The MRDP-APL 2’s specific objectives are:

to implement and refine institutional, financial and community-based planning and management systems for supporting rural development within the targeted agricultural communities in all participating LGUs;

strengthen and operationalize a decentralized agricultural service system through the improvement of capacities of targeted agencies/organizations and communities on collaborative agri-fisheries development planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and operation and maintenance;

address community priorities for sustainable rural development and agricultural productivity;

institutionalize community-based mechanisms / systems to conserve and / or to restore globally and locally important coastal and terrestrial ecosystems.

The first MRDP — aimed at improving income and food security in rural communities — started in 1999 as a poverty reduction program. It was completed in December 2004, covering 32 towns in five provinces.